FIRE WARDENS FOLLOWING GRENFELL

In the recent decision of E&J Ground Rents No.11 LLP, the First Tier Tribunal, was required to consider whether or not the costs of providing a fire marshal, were reasonably recoverable via the service charges by virtue of the lease.

Following the Grenfell disaster, a test was undertaken of the cladding which benefitted Fresh Apartments in Salford, the subject property. It was determined, that the cladding had no flame retardant properties, and therefore there were concerns about the interim safety of the leaseholders, pending the removal and subsequent replacement of the cladding.

Following guidance provided by the National Fire Chief, it was considered that a fire watch was appropriate for the building, and a fire marshal was therefore put in place to provide a waking watch.

The First Tier Tribunal concluded, that the costs of providing the fire marshals were recoverable, as it was hard to see how the applicants actions could not be seen as reasonable. As a result, the costs of the waking watch were fully recoverable.

There were other issues in this case, concerning whether or not the employment of the fire marshals was a qualifying long term agreement, and concerning the level of costs general.

If you therefore consider that there are any issues that you may have in relation to service charges, or recoverability, please contact Lorraine Lancaster on 01702 338338 or llancaster@paulrobinson.co.uk

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